• Short Summary

    As the slight figure
    of "Cosmonaut" Major Yuri Gagarin stood on the top of Lenin's tomb in Red Square
    April 14, VISNEWS cameraman, William McConville, recorded the wildest scenes of
    public enthusiasm that Moscow had seen since the end of the Second World War.

  • Description

    As the slight figure
    of "Cosmonaut" Major Yuri Gagarin stood on the top of Lenin's tomb in Red Square
    April 14, VISNEWS cameraman, William McConville, recorded the wildest scenes of
    public enthusiasm that Moscow had seen since the end of the Second World War.

    Millions throughout Europe watched on television as Soviet Prime Minister
    Khrushchev wept tears of joy and bear-hugged and kissed Major Gagarin - the
    first man to be rocketed into space, orbit the earth, and return safely. Then,
    as the Major stood with the nation's leaders, a two-hour procession of floats
    and banners surged past.

    There were twenty minutes of pandemonium in the Square when the crowds filing
    past Lenin's Tomb got out of control. Excited, cheering Russians broke through
    solid lines of police and militia. Even reinforcements were unable to push back
    crowds pressing round the building where Gagarin, on the balcony, was waving to
    the crowds.

    With hardly a trace of nervousness, Major Gagarin told ??? in Red Square that it
    was Mr Khrushchev and the Government who had put their trust in him and given
    him the responsibility of the first space flight, of which he said: "From the
    outset I had no doubts about the successful outcome. I am convinced that all my
    friends, all the spacemen, are ready at any moment to undertake a flight round
    our planet. I am sure that we Soviet fliers will carry out flight to much
    greater distances." Mr Khrushchev expressed great pride and joy that Russians
    had accomplished the feat. He warmly praised Gagarin's "courage, self-control,
    and valour". He said "his name will be immortal in the history of mankind." At
    Vnukov Airport earlier, Major Gagarin had received a hero's welcome when he had
    walked calmly from his plane to be greeted by Premier Khrushchev, President
    Brezhnev, members of the Soviet Praesidium and other high-ranking officials.

    Thousands of jubilant well-wishers had crowded the airport as Gagarin saluted Mr
    Khrushchev and reported the success of his mission in space. He received warm
    embraces from the Soviet Premier and other leading officials before moving away
    to greet his overwhelmed wife and father. Then, after being introduced to
    members of the Diplomatic Corps, he sat in an open, flower-bedecked car for a
    triumphant drive to Red Square.

    That day, Major Gagarin was given Russia's highest honours: the title "Hero of
    the Soviet Union", the Order of Lenin, the new title of "Pilot Cosmonaut of the
    Soviet Union", and that of "Honoured Master of Sport". A bronze bust of him was
    to be erected in Moscow and a commemorative medal issued.

    At a large press conference in Moscow Apr 15, Major Gagarin revealed to
    journalists that Russia was already preparing a space ship for a trip to the
    moon. He also stated that he was looking forward to a further trip - he felt no
    ill-effects from this one.



  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA647ORYNJJMP437VB6OMMNWE6T
    Media URN:
    VLVA647ORYNJJMP437VB6OMMNWE6T
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    15/04/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:44:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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